Katherine Bentz

Katherine Bentz

Rush H Kress Fellow
The Cardinal's Garden: Patrons, Landscape, and Viewers in Sixteenth-Century Rome
Katherine Bentz


Katherine Bentz is Associate Professor of Art History at Saint Anselm College.  Her research centers on urbanism, landscape and garden history, and antiquities collections in early modern Rome.  Her recent publications examine Ulisse Aldrovandi’s Di tutte le statue antiche, the rhetorical nature of Renaissance garden gates, and the social and agricultural history of the Cesi Garden in Rome.  Her research has been supported by several fellowships, including a Junior Fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks, a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Columbia University, and grants from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, The Getty Research Institute, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Project Summary

This project examines the sumptuous villa gardens built by cardinals in cinquecento Rome.  It investigates motives behind garden construction within the religious, political, and social contexts of the Counter Reformation, and the role of visitor perception in shaping garden design and decoration, and ultimately, in projecting a noble identity for garden owners.